On Friday, February 24, Missy Mazzoli's multimedia opera Song from the Uproar, created in collaboration with filmmaker Stephen Taylor, librettist Royce Vavrek, and director Gia Forakis, receives its world premiere at The Kitchen in New York City, opening a run of five performances: February 24 + 25 (Friday - Saturday), and March 1 – 3 (Thursday – Saturday).
Produced by Beth Morrison Projects, this fully-staged premiere production follows sold-out workshop performances at Galapagos Art Space, New York City Opera's Vox, and Bard College. Rising Mezzo-soprano Abigail Fischer stars, with acclaimed chamber group NOW Ensemble and a vocal quintet consisting of Celine Mogielnicki, Amelia Watkins, Kate Maroney, Peter Stewart, and Tomas Cruz. Steven Osgood conducts. Performances start at 8 pm each evening; tickets are $15, available at www.thekitchen.org.
About Missy Mazzoli: "Missy Mazzoli has gained notice as one of the leading compositional voices of NYC's indie-classical scene. Five years in the making, Song from the Uproar is her most ambitious work to date, the first installment in a trilogy of multimedia operas. Mazzoli's richly-textured music deftly balances lyricism and unease, with twisting harmonies and steady yet elusive rhythms. A sure sense of dramatic pacing is wedded to expressive, idiomatic vocal writing."
About the show: "Vavrek and Mazzoli's libretto is based on the journals of the fiercely independent explorer Isabelle Eberhardt (1877-1904), who left her native Switzerland and adopted a nomadic and unfettered existence in the lonely and hostile landscapes of North Africa. Dressing as a man, she traveled widely through the deserts and mountains on horseback, documenting her travels extensively in journals and short stories. She became fluent in Arabic, converted to Islam, and later joined a secret Sufi brotherhood, fighting against French colonial rule in her adopted country of Algeria."
"In 1901 Eberhardt fell in love with Slimene Ehnni, an Algerian soldier, and they began a chaotic relationship marked by dramatic fights, long separations, and passionate reunions. At age 27, having survived illnesses, deportations, heartbreak, and even an attempt on her life, she drowned in a flash flood in the desert. Pages from the journals that make up much of the libretto were pulled from the wreckage of this flood."
"Each of the opera's fourteen sections detail a significant event in Eberhardt's life, including the tragic deaths of her parents and brother, her travels, and her own sudden death. Stephen Taylor's haunting films, made entirely from repurposed archival footage from the early 20th century, form the basis for simultaneous multi-channel video projections designed by S. Katy Tucker, transporting the audience into the narrative. Pre-recorded and electronic voices interplay with the live sounds of NOW Ensemble and the voices of Abigail Fischer and the chorus. Scenic design is by Zane Pihlstrom, the costumes are by Alixa Englund, and Scott Bolman designed the lighting."